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Sex Offenders Restrictions Tightened in Elk Grove

With little fanfare, the Elk Grove City Council unanimously approved an ordinance at last night’s regular meeting that tightens existing laws restricting the whereabouts of convicted sexual offenders.

The new ordinance came as a result of public outcry from alleged lewd acts perpetrated by residents at a group juvenile sex offender residence earlier this year on Cheer Court. Responding to the outcry, the city council along with the police department, city attorney, community groups and local residents crafted the ordinance.

Based on “Jessica’s Law,” the new ordinance says that sex offenders cannot be within 300 feet of youth sport facilities, day care facilities, playgrounds, schools and amusement centers. Passed in 2006, “Jessica’s Law” law limits sex offender from being with 2,000 feet of parks and schools.

Prior to the passing of the ordinance, the controversy erupted into an open battle between factions of the current city council that culminated in the council considering the removal of Sophia Scherman as Mayor. Council members Jim Cooper, Gary Davis and Steve Detrick were upset that Scherman had scheduled a meeting regarding the matter with the knowledge all three could not attend.

In the end, no action was taken on the matter and Scherman retained the mayoral title.

At last nights meeting Cheer Court resident Carrie Wilmont, who brought the matter to the council's attention,  thanked the city council and the police department for their quick response. “You should all be proud of yourselves,” a tearful Wilmot said.

Council member Gary Davis noted the collaborative efforts were the key to quickly passing the ordinance. “This is a good example of hot it is supposed to work,” Davis said.

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